Gilgit Baltistan, the hub of tourism in Pakistan, faces an ethical dilemma. Its mountains and views are breathtaking, and its people are peace-loving, but the issue for its persons with disablities is very tragic. Persons with disablities , special persons’, are socially excluded from society or from family. If they are fortunate and the family does support them, then they are only educated to the primary level, rending them of further educational opportunities. If a PWD has to be educated, they must go down south to other provinces which aren’t affordable for everyone. On top of that, there is no hostel facility for persons with disablities. Rending disabled children who live outside of Gilgit, are excluded as the National Accountability Bureau, has taken over their building which is unethical on many levels.
The Gilgit Baltistan’s Goodwill Movement runs a skill-based development center for persons with disablities. We aim to provide the skills that will help these disabled individuals in the future, whether in employment or education.GBGM was started by a struggle felt by Ghulam Muhammad Baig, a Scottish-Pakistani Disabled activist. On regular visits to Pakistan and his memory of Gilgit, he thought he was not the only one that did not fit into the ‘norm ‘ Baig, back in 2020, was doing his independent activism in Gilgit Baltistan. However, he was funding food projects that lasted only in the short term, be it one week, two weeks, or a month. As a result, he was not getting the impact that he wanted
Personal tragedies are often depicted in the dark. Individual achievements are often boasted about. To understand one’s problem, one has to experience it. Sometimes in life, personal tragedies become one’s opportunities. If one were to think of our experiences, at some point or the other, we, as disabled individuals, gave up. Often the case, one’s own identity was questioned. When I look back on my own experience, I could not be more thankful for this opportunity to serve humanity, serve my community and share my experiences with my fantastic team in Gilgi
On the 26th of July 2022, the Gilgit Baltistan’s Blinds United Movement (GBBUM) protested on a one-point agenda outside the Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister’s House. The demand was that under the Persons with Disabilities, 2019, Gilgit Baltistan Act, 15 members of the Blind Community should be appointed to government jobs as soon as possible in Gilgit, while ten blind persons should be appointed in every other district of Gilgit Baltistan. The purpose of the protest was to show that the disabled community was united on this one-point agenda. Many individuals from Gilgit, Hunza, Baltistan, Chilas, and Ghizer were willing to protest until their demand was met.
The Right Honourable Social Welfare Secretary, Mr. Najeeb Alam, visited Gilgit Baltistan’s Goodwill Movement Skills Development Centre. President Farhan briefed Secretary Alam on the challenges of the Centre, which were discussed in the documentary below. While speaking to Alam, Farhan said, ‘ we have a vision of training persons with disablities, so that they can create an earning for themselves’/ As witnessed in the COVID 19 pandemic, online work is still preferred even as we have come out of lockdowns.
voters were promised that the PTI Gilgit-Baltistan government would bring change.
Voters almost felt that PTI members were actually revolutionaries. Disabled people of Gilgit-Baltistan also had the same hope.
Yet when it comes to politicians or bureaucrats, hope is a mirage.
PTIGB stands on a manifesto approved by our former Prime Minister Imran Khan in 2018 general elections. An important element of the manifesto was to promote and support the needs of the disabled, where the PTI said that the 2% quota reserved for the disabled was often not implemented in spirit.
The Gilgit Baltistan’s Goodwill Movement is pleased to announce that for the immediate future, it will aid the Hashoo Foundation and STEP for a year primarily to further the cause of disability rights within Gilgit Baltistan. The Hashoo Foundation. Hashoo Foundation is a knowledge-based and impact-oriented organization that empowers communities by leveraging knowledge as capital for their socio-economic uplift (Hashoo Group 2015, https://www.hashoogroup.com/hashoo-foundation). Umeed E Noor is one of their key projects that target Persons With Disabilities.
Multiple visitors ask us what the future vision for this organization is. In this short essay, we want to address some of the queries visitors have emailed or enquired about. We hope that some of these addressed concerns will focus on organizational planning, future and current objectives, and the ideal vision for persons with disabilities in Gilgit Baltistan.